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Resilience of the Eastern African electricity sector to climate driven changes in hydropower generation

This study finds that the most resilient energy plan for the Eastern African Power Pool is one that assumes a slightly wetter climate than historical trends.

Brian Joyce, Annette Huber-Lee / Published on 17 January 2019

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Sridharan, V., Broad, O., Shivakumar, A., Howells, M., Boehlert, B., Groves, D.G., Rogner, H., Taliotis, C., Neumann, J., Strzepek, K.M., Lempert, R., Joyce, B., Huber-Lee, A. and Cervigni, R. (2019). Resilience of the Eastern African electricity sector to climate driven changes in hydropower generation. Nature Communications 10, 302.

Notwithstanding current heavy dependence on gas-fired electricity generation in the Eastern African Power Pool (EAPP), hydropower is expected to play an essential role in improving electricity access in the region. Expansion planning of electricity infrastructure is critical to support investment and maintaining balanced consumer electricity prices. Variations in water availability due to a changing climate could leave hydro infrastructure stranded or result in underutilization of available resources.

This study develops a framework consisting of long-term models for electricity supply and water systems management, to assess the vulnerability of potential expansion plans to the effects of climate change. The authors find that the most resilient EAPP rollout strategy corresponds to a plan optimised for a slightly wetter climate compared to historical trends.

This study demonstrates that failing to climate-proof infrastructure investments can result in significant electricity price fluctuations in selected countries (Uganda & Tanzania) while others, such as Egypt, are less vulnerable.

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SEI authors

Profile picture of Brian Joyce
Brian Joyce

Senior Scientist


Profile picture of Annette Huber-Lee
Annette Huber-Lee

Senior Scientist


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